A proposed cannabis production facility in Mirror was turned down by Lacombe County, but a similar project in an industrial park was given the green light.
In Mirror, Silver Mountain Cannabis was hoping to erect two cannabis cultivation buildings and an office building on three industrial lots on the west side of the hamlet.
About six to 10 people would have been employed in the grow facility in two 2,100-square-foot buildings, which would not have been open to the public and would include no retail sales.
The county’s municipal planning commission was deadlocked 3-3 on the application, which meant it was defeated, on Thursday.
Coun. Barb Shepherd was absent.
At issue was the location, which is in an area where industrial-zoned lots are adjacent to homes.
“There were a number of concerns with how close it was to residential, even though it was zoned industrial,” said Reeve Paula Law.
“I think that is what swayed the vote.”
Law said odour was one of the main issues for those opposed to the project.
Prior to the planning commission hearing, the county sent out 350 information packages to residents in the area and received 17 responses.
Those who expressed concerns cited potential impact on property values, moral issues around cannabis, odour and safety and security issues.
Not all were opposed, said Law. Some saw it as a job creator for the community.
The planning commission approved a proposal by Greenway Pharma Inc. to turn a 12,400-square-foot building once home to Strata Energy into a cannabis production facility in Aspelund Industrial Park on the west side of Highway 2, near Blackfalds.
The facility is expected to employ about 12 people and have 24-hour security on site. There will be no retail sales at the site, which also includes a 4,200-square-foot office building.
A ventilation system specifically designed to eliminate cannabis odours will be installed, says the company.
Law said, unlike the Mirror project, the industrial park application did not generate the same concerns for council, which acts as the planning commission.
“Residential was not an issue there.”
A three-year development permit was conditionally approved for Greenway. Among the conditions is that it meets all federal and provincial regulations.
As well, the business must “be operated at all times in a manner that does not cause nuisance for surrounding residents due to noise, light, odour, excessive traffic, or anything else of a dangerous or objectionable nature as determined by and at the sole discretion of Lacombe County.”